Bill Lets Mental Health Professionals Report Violence Prone People

The state Senate approved a bill Thursday that would require mental health professionals to report potential threats to law enforcement, reports The Tennessean. Supporters say the move could head off mass shootings.
Senate Bill 789 passed unanimously as lawmakers found little reason to debate a measure that tightens reporting requirements for mental health workers and the courts. The bill is part of a push — backed by gun-rights proponents and gun-control advocates alike — to change mental health laws in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December.
“Mass violence of any sort is a tragic occurrence. But the worst tragedy results when the state overreacts to a mass shooting by restricting the Second Amendment rights of the law-abiding,” Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said in a prepared statement praising the measure. “This bill focuses not on inanimate objects but on the very real issue of mental health. …
“By focusing on the mentally ill, we will focus on those who should not have weapons while leaving the law-abiding gun owner free to exercise his God-given constitutional right.”
The Tennessee Psychological Association supports the bill. Mark Greene, a lobbyist for the group, said it clarifies that when clients make threats to harm or kill, the police must be told, in addition to potential victims.

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